University professor charged with possessing child porn - WNEM TV 5

University professor charged with possessing child porn

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Robert J. Thaler Robert J. Thaler
UNIVERSITY CENTER, MI (WNEM) -

A Saginaw Valley State University professor has been arrested and charged with possessing child pornography.

Robert J. Thaler, 71, has been an assistant professor of sociology at the universityl where he's worked since 1974.

Thaler was charged with nine counts of being in possession of child sexually abusive material, which, if convicted, carries a maximum prison sentence of four years for each charge.

On Wednesday, SVSU released this statement on the professor's case:

In late January 2012, SVSU became aware of apparent wrongdoing involving the misuse of a University computer by a faculty member.  We immediately began an investigation and contacted the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office. In early February 2012, we sent the computer to the FBI's Mid-Michigan Area Computer Crimes Task Force for further investigation. We also began internal disciplinary proceedings. These proceedings resulted in the unpaid suspension of this individual, who has not taught classes at SVSU since April 2012 and has been banned from being present on campus.

We have been awaiting the results of the FBI's investigation and recently learned that criminal charges have been brought against this individual. The unpaid suspension will remain in effect, pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings. 

Since this is now a criminal matter, SVSU will have no further comment at this time.

Thaler was arraigned on Tuesday and is currently free on bond. He will be back in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing on June 20.

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